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New decade to build on Saskatchewan’s status as big-event host

Saskatchewan fans reflect on big events of 2019
WATCH ABOVE: Saskatchewan cities are getting ready to host several big events in the coming year.

After a decade that saw the announcement, development and opening of a new football stadium in Saskatchewan, 2020 looks to build on the province’s reputation as a big-event host.

Regina’s new Mosaic Stadium will open its fourth Saskatchewan Roughriders season in 2020, and will host the Grey Cup for the first time in November.

The event is a logical next step after the venue successfully became the first neutral site to host a NHL Heritage Classic this past October.

Mosaic Stadium was almost unrecognizable by the time the big game arrived.
Mosaic Stadium was almost unrecognizable by the time the big game arrived. File / Global News

Mosaic Stadium also hosted its first-ever CFL West Final on Nov. 18, marking the venue’s second CFL playoff game.

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‘A little bigger honky-tonk’

During summer 2019, the stadium drew two nights of massive crowds for country superstar Garth Brooks.

Brooks returned to Saskatchewan in August a little more than three years after playing six sold-out shows at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.

“We had the best time, so we’re coming back for more of that. This time it’s just going to be a little bigger honky-tonk,” Brooks told Global News before the shows.

READ MORE: Garth Brooks announces second show in Regina

The stadium previously hosted the likes of Bryan Adams, Guns N’ Roses and the Eagles.

In June 2019, the venue brought together around 10,000 ravenous Toronto Raptors fans who watched the Canadian NBA team capture its first championship on the big screen.

Raptors fans celebrate the team’s historic NBA Championship victory in Regina’s Jurassic Park at Mosaic Stadium.
Raptors fans celebrate the team’s historic NBA Championship victory in Regina’s Jurassic Park at Mosaic Stadium. Jonathan Guignard / Global News

Saskatoon shines

Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre has drawn numerous big names over the last decade and will bring together the best and brightest in Canadian music for the 2020 Juno Awards on March 15.

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The Bridge City last hosted the Junos in 2007, and welcomed the Canadian Country Music Awards twice in the 2010s – 2012 and 2017.

Regina’s Brandt Centre expanded over the last decade, and is readying for an even bigger Agribition week in 2020 when the annual event celebrates its 50th anniversary.

READ MORE: Junos running back to Saskatoon in 2020

As for sports, Saskatoon welcomed two new teams in the last decade – the Saskatchewan Rush of the National Lacrosse League and the Saskatchewan Rattlers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

Both teams have won championships in front of the home crowd.

The Saskatchewan Rattler led the CEBL in attendance and season ticket holders, along with capturing the CEBL championship in the league’s inaugural season.
The Saskatchewan Rattler led the CEBL in attendance and season ticket holders, along with capturing the CEBL championship in the league’s inaugural season. File / Global News

Curling has also remained a big draw in the province, with Moose Jaw’s Mosaic Place slated to host the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts after having previously hosted the event in 2015.

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Looking further ahead, Saskatoon will host the 2021 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5.

READ MORE: Saskatoon sports: Top 5 stories fans were cheering for in 2019

It’ll mark only the second time the Canadian curling Olympic trials have been held in Saskatchewan, with the first staged in Regina in 2001.